My family and I had an escape from the city over Easter weekend. We took a trip to the Jersey shore visiting Cape May.
As soon as we arrived we hit the beach. Unfortunately, it’s been a chilly spring. Despite the bright sunshine it was about 55 degrees and windy. The icy wind did not stop Ale. He ran to the shore and stared out at the rolling waves. Ale then turned to me and said “Mama be back. Shovel”. He turned and ran back across to the sand to where we parked the stroller to get the bucket and shovel. He was determined to dig and make sand castles. If I would have let him, he would have jumped into the water with his winter coat and hat on.
I think Ale will one day be a surfer, sailor, fisherman or a poet. The ocean calls out to him. Ale is captivated by the majesty of the waves, is intoxicated by the salty air and likes sandy toes.
Lately I have been reveling in the fact that things have been quiet here in toddler land. Ale still does not eat well but he is the tallest two year old I know. Sleep is getting better. Well, amazing really. He has been sleeping through the night (10pm – 7am) five out of the seven nights. Then… last night arrived. Maybe it was due to the blood red lunar eclipse that took place but Ale had the worse night terror yet. I sat next to his crib as he howled and cried for twenty minutes. He was drenched in sweat and there was nothing I could do. He even refused a bottle of milk. Finally, I just tried to hold him as he squirmed and kicked.
My father who lived through a war had night terrors. It was the result of the post traumatic stress of difficult times. What, however, could possibly be troubling my outwardly happy son? Is he battling out the rights to a toy car? Is he worried about mama and papa disappearing? Is there something else happening that I am not aware of? Who knows the depths of the subconscious of a toddler? I long for the day he can really tell me what he thinks and feels. (Something tells me I will be longing for this throughout my lifetime). Either way, I wish I could take the toddler suffering away. It’s heartbreaking to see him go through this.
I have often thought that there is a reason you don’t remember your early years. These years are joyful but full of suffering as your little one attempts to make sense of the world around him.